Unless you're a night owl, you won't see the moon and constellation Taurus the Bull ascending in the east before your bedtime. But you will see them before the beginning of morning twilight on August 2, 3, and 4. 🌘🌌 Visit EarthSky.org to read more about how to see the moon in Taurus before sunrise. In this chart, we see the path of the moon through Taurus from August 2-4 in the eastern sky before dawn. 📸
Every year, in late July and early August, look eastward as darkness gives way to morning dawn. In a clear sky, you can glimpse the beautiful constellation Orion the Hunter. It's one of the sky's most easily seen constellations. Orion always passes behind the sun in Northern Hemisphere spring. But then, at this time of year, Orion returns, ascending once more in the east before sunrise. ✨ Thank you, Matthew Chin, for your lovely EarthSky Community Photo!
In 2021, the full moon falls on July 23-24. And on the nights of July 23 to 26, you can watch as this full, or nearly full, moon sweeps past our solar system's largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn. 🌕🌌 Go to EarthSky.org to find out how to see this cosmic trio the next few evenings. This chart shows the view in the southeastern evening sky. 📸
Did you catch the Mars-Venus conjunction earlier this month? EarthSky friend Helio C. Vital caught this shot from Brazil on the eve of the conjunction and wrote "The photos show Venus and Mars (190x fainter) only 1.6 degrees apart." Thank you, Helio! Venus and Mars orbit the sun on either side of Earth. In our sky, Venus outshines Mars by about 200 times. The young moon joined the show earlier this week. 🌑
Want to see a cool conjunction? Watch Wednesday evening as the blazing planet Venus sweeps by Regulus, Leo the Lion's brightest star. Regulus represents the Lion's Heart. Look west at evening dusk. You can't miss Venus, the 3rd-brightest celestial object after the sun and moon. 🌌 Find out how to see the Venus and Regulus conjunction at EarthSky.org. This chart shows the conjunction in the constellation Leo in the western evening sky. 📸
Look up! Venus and Mars will be closest together in the evening sky on July 12 or 13. The young moon will join them for several evenings in the western twilight sky. 🌒🌌 Check out EarthSky.org to see the young moon and conjunction together the next couple evenings. In this chart, we see the young moon, Venus and Mars in the western evening sky from now until July 15. 📸
Watch on the mornings of July 5 to 8, 2021, as the waning crescent moon swings by the Pleiades star cluster, the bright star Aldebaran and the bright planet Mercury. 🌘🌌 This chart depicts the eastern morning sky at dawn in early July. 📸 Visit EarthSky.org to find out how to see all these celestial objects the next few mornings.
In the evenings this month, look for the constellation Corona Borealis, also known as the Northern Crown. You'll need a dark sky to see it. But, if you have one, the constellation is easy to pick out. That's because it forms the shape of the letter C. In the middle of the C is a white jewel of a star called Alphecca or Gemma. ✨ 📸 This photo comes from Dr. Ski in 2019. Thank you, Dr. Ski!
If you’re a night owl – or an early bird – let the moon show you the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn in late June 2021. 🌖🌌 Visit EarthSky.org to find out how to see the moon, Jupiter and Saturn the next few late nights and early mornings. In this photo, we see Jupiter and its moons as seen through a telescope on August 15, 2009. Visit SkyandTelescope.com for the present position of Jupiter’s 4 major moons. 📸
During the last nights of this month, watch for 3 worlds in space: the moon, Jupiter and Saturn. The waning gibbous moon is past full on these nights and rises later and later in the evening. 🌖🌌 Check out EarthSky.org to find out more about observing the moon, Jupiter and Saturn these next few late nights and early mornings. In this chart, we see the predawn/ dawn sky from the southeast to southwest in late June.
Tonight and in the coming evenings: The June 2021 full moon comes a few days after the June solstice and closely mimics the path of the December sun. 🌕☀️ Go to EarthSky.org to read more about this full moon and its similarity to the winter solstice sun. In this photo, we see a full moon rising over 42nd Street in New York City on June 28, 2018, as captured by Steve Scanlon. 📸
Did you know? The June solstice arrives today. When it does, the sun is in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull. About 1/2 day later, though, the sun will move out of the constellation Taurus and into the constellation Gemini the Twins. ☀️🌌 This diagram shows how, at the June solstice, the sun is in Taurus. A few hours later, it crosses a constellation boundary into the westernmost part of Gemini. 📸 Find out more about the sun's journey from Taurus to Gemini at the link above.
It's almost time for the June solstice! For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice signals the beginning of summer. For the Southern Hemisphere, winter starts at this solstice. ☀️ Illustration: The path of the sun across our sky – from about noon to sunset – on 3 different days of the year, an equinox and the summer and winter solstices. Marcella Giulia Pace made these observations from Gatto Corvino village, Sicily, Italy. 📸 Learn more about the June solstice at EarthSky.org.
Moon and Spica! On June 18, 19 and 20 - as the setting sun closes the curtain on the day, and the darkening sky reveals a myriad of far-off suns - let the moon introduce you to a special star. The bright star close to the moon on these dates is none other than Spica, the sole 1st-magnitude star in the constellation Virgo. 🌟🌔🌌 In this chart, we see Spica closest to the moon in the evening of June 19. 📸 Check out EarthSky.org to learn more about Spica and when to see it near the moon.
Here’s a natural phenomenon you might not have thought of: The longest sunsets happen around the time of the solstices. The sun actually takes more time to set around the time of a solstice than around the time of an equinox. Here's why. This photo from our friend Priya Kumar shows a June solstice sunset in 2018, captured in the nation of Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula. Thank you, Priya! 🌇
By this evening, the moon has moved past the bright star Regulus, but you can still find Regulus as the brightest star near the moon. See how Regulus marks the bottom of a backwards question mark of stars? That pattern - an asterism - is called The Sickle. 🌒🌟🌌 In this diagram, we see Regulus near the moon in the western night sky. 📸 Learn more about Regulus and how to find it at the link above.
This great image from Steve Scanlon Photography is of an early sunrise at the Sands Beach Club in Sea Bright, New Jersey. At mid-northern latitudes, your earliest sunrises of the year happen around now. That's despite the fact that the northern summer solstice - the year's longest day for this hemisphere - happens about a week from now. Southern Hemisphere? It's time for your earliest sunsets. ☀️
The young moon is back! New moon happened yesterday, June 10, and created this year's first solar eclipse. For the next few evenings, look for the young moon, and 2 planets - Venus and Mars - plus several bright stars. Tonight, the moon will be an exceedingly thin crescent, low in the west after sunset. 🌒🌌 This chart shows the position of the young moon in the western evening sky from June 11-15. 📸 Go to EarthSky.org to read more about seeing the young moon these next few evenings.
Eclipse time! The new moon will sweep in front of the sun to create this year's first solar eclipse on Thursday, June 10. On that day, the moon in its elliptical orbit of Earth will lie too far from us to cover over the sun completely. So a bright annulus - or ring - will surround the new moon silhouette at mid-eclipse. ☀️🌑 Image via Unsplash/ Republicworld.com. 📸 Read more about the upcoming "ring of fire" eclipse at EarthSky.org!
Did you know that circumpolar stars stay above the horizon all hours of the day, every day of the year? EarthSky tells all over at our website’s Tonight tab. Fun facts about our sky’s brightest stars, astronomy essentials, moon phases and more: all covered so you know what to look for when you’re looking up tonight. Image via Yuri Beletsky Nightscapes.
Do you like dragons? And astronomy? Tonight, if you have a dark sky, you can pick out the constellation Draco the Dragon winding around the North Star. 🐉🌟 Illustration: Johannes Hevelius drew the constellation Draco the Dragon in Uranographia, his celestial catalog, in 1690. Note the the circle around the Dragon, and the star in the Dragon’s Tail. That star is Thuban, a former pole star. Image via Wikimedia Commons. 📸 Visit EarthSky.org to find out more about Draco and Thuban.
Come to know the Summer Triangle! The Summer Triangle is an asterism, not a constellation. It's made of three bright stars in three different constellations. We in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Summer Triangle for part of the night, at any time of the year. 🌌 In this chart, we see the three stars that make up the Summer Triangle: Vega, Deneb and Altair. 📸 Check out EarthSky.org to find out how to use the Summer Triangle as both a galactic roadmap and a seasonal calendar.
Use the bright star Spica to help you find the constellations of the Crow, Cup and Water Snake. And learn how, in mythology, these creatures came to be flung to the heavens. 🌟🌌 This chart depicts the 3 constellations and their proximity to Spica. 📸 Find out more about these constellations, and how to spot them in your sky, at EarthSky.org.